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  • Sharing information and brainstorming

    15/02/2015 | Zaltbommel

    In this 'Schouten Blog' Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel (director coaching Schouten Global and coach of Team Brunel) writes, among other things, about her experiences in the talent-selection process, the training sessions on Lanzarote, her presence in the ports of the stop-overs of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015.

    Sharing information and brainstorming

    Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel, coach of Team Brunel during the Volvo Ocean Race

    Spare time, it’s so very important to reload your battery for a while. But after the arrival procedure with their physiotherapist and coach, no one within Team Brunel leaves without an assignment: ‘Think about what could have gone better.’ After the individuals talks, I suspected that the team would benefit from more information sharing. What magic would it bring if we – based on all the different opinions – would come up with something new wherefore one plus one becomes three?

    By now I know that the best thing to do is to share my first analyses with Bouwe before he takes his leave of absence. That way he can let it simmer, reflect on it and new ideas will come up. This time as well. It’s great how Bouwe acts on it right away during the team debriefings. At the ‘office container’ he comprehensively outlines the way leg 3 went, which decisions were made. Then he says: ‘I don’t know what you think, but in my opinion things could have been better here and there. Furthermore I realize that we have to feed each other more with information.’ Then he invites the guys to think along and analyze with him. What happened? What can improve?

    You cannot get there alone
    I don’t think I exaggerate when I say that the navigator probably has the most solitary job within the team. He is the specialist who has to make a decision on his own, based on his measurements, knowledge and experience. But often it’s like looking into a crystal ball: there are lots of situations in which he can’t give certainties. Of course in businesses this kind of functions and situations, in which one person bears big responsibility, also occur. Biggest risk in those cases is to become isolated within the team. You need sparring partners to get new perspectives and inspiration. That’s why one of the key messages of Schouten Global is: ‘You cannot go there alone’. That’s why the sailing teams often have a second navigator fly in at the stopovers. Gladly, Bouwe protects our navigator from isolation. Graduated from the Maritime Academy he is one of Capey’s sparring partners and back support. His phrases are distinctive: ‘Off all cases, I’m right behind Capey 98 percent of the time. In the remaining 2 percent I’ll ask him: “Are you sure?” I’m the skipper, if we make an unfortunate choice, the call always is on me.’

    Brainstorming for magic_MG_3734.jpg
    Back to the team debriefings. After Bouwes first move, the search for magic begins: coming up with something new - based on all the different opinions – in order to create a synergetic effect. You can hear their brains scratching, there are long moments of silence, animated discussions, and moments on which everyone is tumbling over each other: ”Yes, but…” Although , ‘yes but’ is forbidden in sessions like this, because it kills creativity right away. And the thing is to come up with new creative ideas, which ideally arises from doing it all together out of different competences and perspectives. That’s how brainstorming arises and you dare to make new choices that hopefully turn out well/alright.

    Mental toughness
    As a coach, the mental part is my job: making sure that the crew remains and increases its mental toughness. That psychological capital (hope, resilience, self efficacy, focus) is a requirement to be able to perform optimally. If you keep on growing on that part, winning has to be the outcome. Or, as Jan Schouten recently put it in an interview*: “Winning can never be the goal, winning is a result.” If you looseyour mental toughness, you will not dare making risky decisions or execute bold maneuvers. You will play it safe out of fear. I’m sure that will not happen to our team, on their way to Auckland.

    For more information about Managing teams, Collaboration Skills or the Compass Vision by Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel (that focuses on increasing mental toughness), klick here.

    *Here is the interview “Winning is the result” by Jan Schouten.

    The four pillars of mental toughness

    1. Hope. Staying strong in self belief, staying confident that you will find ways to eventually be successful;
    2. Resilience. Keeping your head cool under stress, remaining intact despite setbacks. And come out even stronger. It all has to do with constantly being aware of why you’re doing this and how you are developing. And tackle your behavioral and mental patterns that might sabotage reaching your goals;
    3. Self efficacy. Being aware of your capabilities/competences and talents and knowing how you can develop them into strengths. That way you can develop much faster and you’re able to set through. That way your make your motivation work for you.
    4. Focus. Staying focused on the things that matter, things that contribute to reaching the big dream. Turn your eights into tens, so to speak.

    Nothing from this blog may be reproduced without written permission from Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel of Schouten Global.

    Update Team Brunel, February 15, 2015 
    by Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel, Director Coaching - Schouten Global
    Coach - Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15

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